Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday Beijing will further open up its economy in the face of rising protectionism, as he headed for meetings with Asia-Pacific leaders in Singapore that are expected to focus on trade tensions.
Li’s remarks in an article in Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper, ahead of his arrival in the city-state later in the day, came as Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for more regional integration, saying multilateralism was under threat from political pressures.
“China has opened its door to the world; we will never close it but open it even wider,”
Li said in the article, in which he called for an “open world economy” in the face of “rising protectionism and unilateralism”. He did not directly refer to China’s bruising trade war with the United States.
Notably absent from this week’s meetings is U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said several existing multilateral trade deals are unfair, and has railed against China over intellectual property theft, entry barriers to U.S. businesses and a gaping trade deficit.